Film Review: Safety Not Guaranteed

I watched this quirky sf rom-com last night, and my sleep suffered for it. I cannot simply take it at face value as so many reviewers seem to be doing. Am I really the only viewer whose brain kept going around in circles, pondering the time travel concepts? Maybe that’s what I get for being married to an amateur theoretical physicist all those years. But I know from my own writing that there is a ton of stuff — research, back story, tangents, spin-offs, subplots, etc — that never makes it onto the page. Surely it’s the same with movies. How much of this story never made it onto the cutting-room floor, let alone the screen? There is so much going on there that is just hinted at in this movie that I have to suspect there is much, much more to this story than is readily apparent on the first viewing.

Yes, I am going to have to buy the DVD when it’s released and analyze the bejeebies out of this film. I have lots of pet theories, but I think I need to watch this at least once more before sharing any of them. But let me just ask this: Did the Kenneth in this film seem to have time-travelled before?

Setting aside the intricacies of the space-time continuum for a few moments, I have to say I adored this film. It was sweetly funny without being cloying or insipid, and its balance of geeky physics and human connections was perfect. All of the characters were interesting, each giving some unique insight into loss and regret. And if the writing was well done, the direction and performances were exceptional. This was the realest-feeling movie I’ve seen in a long time, and I mean that in the best sense.

I know this film has limited distribution, but please go see it if you have the opportunity. Then come here and discuss it with me. Tell me if I’m as crazy as Kenneth. Or crazier.

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Film Review: Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter

I’ve heard the book is much better than the movie, so I have purposely put off reading the book. I think this helped me enjoy the movie for what it was, a fun mash-up of vampire horror and alternative history. It wasn’t overtly steampunk, but there were certainly several nice steampunk touches, especially in the vampire wardrobes. And of course there’s a huge steam train sequence. 

The pacing seemed to be a bit off, which probably resulted, at least in part, from the adaptation process. Very few full-length novels make the jump to the big screen well, and I’ve always wondered why more filmmakers don’t concentrate on adapting shorter works. At any rate, it will be interesting to see how or if my opinion on the plotting changes after I’ve read the book. I also wonder if Speed’s character will seem more consistent to me in the novel. Yes, yes, I understand the plot twist involving him. I’m talking about some of the more subtle things in his attitude.

Well, I guess I will just have to read the book before I can say a whole lot more about the movie. But if you’re in the mood for a fun vampire flick with lots of blood and some great action scenes, you could do far worse.